[New Publication] How does China appraise self and others? A corpus-based analysis of Chinese political discourse
The article entitled ‘How does China appraise self and others? A corpus-based analysis of Chinese political discourse’ by Yifan Zhu, the associate director of Jiao Tong Baker Centre, and Tao Li, an affiliate of Jiao Tong Baker Centre, is now published online in Discourse and Society.
How does China appraise self and others? A corpus-based analysis of Chinese political discourse
Tao Li, Yifan Zhu
Political discourse is a major site where ideological construction of both Self and Others is carried out. Based on a corpus of 98 political texts issued by Chinese governing bodies from 2000 to 2018, this study adopts Appraisal System to analyse the lexical items that indicate attitudes towards China and other countries with a view to revealing the ways in which China and other countries are appraised in Chinese political discourse. It is found that (1) Chinese political discourse does represent the ideological square of positive Self-presentation and negative Other-presentation, but more frequently it negatively evaluates China’s things (appreciation) rather than its behaviours (judgement) while more negative appraisals are used to describe Others’ behaviours rather than Their things, (2) interestingly, while China upturns Others’ negative profiles, it also upscales negative presentation of Self; likewise, China mitigates negative presentation of both Self and Others, (3) Chinese political discourse allows more external voices when expressing its attitudes towards Self. The analysis shows that the producers of Chinese political discourse skilfully use appraisal resources, sometimes implicitly, to construct a subtle but dynamic ‘Self versus Other’ ideological structure in Chinese political discourse, which enhances the understanding of China’s moderate view on itself and others in its pursuit of national interests.